|Review by richgreer||posted 01-29-2012 07:02 PM||6632 views||1 time favorited||11 comments|
My 18” bandsaw is, essentially, dedicated to resawing and other straight cuts. I was not happy with the original fence and I looked to upgrade. I did not find many options for an 18” bandsaw and finally purchased this Carter magnet based fence. I’ve worked with it some and now I offer a mixed review with both the positives and the negatives as I see them.
(As an FYI – I have a second, smaller, band saw that I use for the curvy stuff.)
As I would expect from Carter, the workmanship is excellent. This simple tool is well made. The fence is held very securely with the 2 included MagSwitchs. There are also 2 places to add additional MagSwitches. I doubt that will ever be needed, but it is nice to know the option exists.
Since a primary purpose of this bandsaw is resawing, I consider the fence too short (3”). You will see in the picture that I added a face board which, effectively, raises the fence to 6”. There are 4 slots that run the length of the Carter fence that will accept the nut of a 1/4” bolt making it relatively easy to add (and remove) the face board. However, I doubt that I will remove the face board very often due to the shims discussed in the next paragraph.
After adding the face board, I checked it for square to the table. It was off by a hair. I inserted some shins between the Carter fence and the face board at the top and that solved the problem. I cannot be 100% certain that the problem is the Carter fence (it could, in theory, be the face board), However, I think it is the Carter fence. Reinserting those shims every time I put the face board back on is a good reason not to take it off. Getting those shims in just the right position was a PITA.
With a magnetic fence you have no way to automatically get the fence perpendicular to the edge of the table. You will see in the second picture that I put an adhesive tape measure on the far side of the bandsaw table. It is not a coincidence that the face board is long enough to reach from the tape measure on one side of the tape measure on the other side. In theory, if I align the face board on each side to the same measuring mark, the fence will be perpendicular to the edge of the table. The face board is 22” long. The Carter fence is 15” long.
This fence is basically a good, well made, tool. But, for me, I wish it were longer, taller and perfectly square. I wish my added on face board was not necessary. Also, including an adhesive tape measure with the fence would be a nice idea. Fortunately, I had one in the shop that I had not used previously.
To be fair, this fence is probably built primarily for 14” bandsaws and it probably fits the needs for a 14” bandsaw better.
Suggestion for Carter – Make a second model that is taller and longer for people like me.
-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.